About The NC January 6th Foundation

The NC January 6 Project Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)3 dedicated to exploring and analyzing effective voter registration techniques throughout the state of North Carolina. 

Our Beginnings

We founded this organization shortly after the January 6 attack on the Capitol that threatened our systems of free elections. As we sat glued to our screens that day, watching the events unfold, we realized that we can no longer take our democratic institutions for granted. We realized that the most surefire way to strengthen our democracy is to expand ballot access across the state. There are countless ways to achieve this.

Our Strategy

We are interested in exploring various mail strategies, digital strategies, and relational organizing in order to test various voter registration strategies. We hope that our research will provide a valuable resource for future campaigns and canvassing efforts. That’s why you’ll find us experimenting with mailers, digital tools, and good old fashioned canvassing.

Our Goal

You’ll find us testing messaging techniques, outreach strategies, and cultivating relationships with partner organizations to reach new audiences online. Our research is free and publicly available. There’s never been a more exciting time to work in voter registration, and there’s so much work to do. Onwards! Your donations are tax deductible.

Board Of Directors

Bain Jones

Chair

Bain Jones is an attorney in Raleigh. Previously an Administrative Law Judge for almost twenty years, Bain practices Administrative, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security and Employment law. Jones plays an active role in the Wake County and North Carolina Bar Associations, as well as other civic and religious organizations.

Anne Robertson

Treasurer

Ann Robertson, a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is the founder and senior attorney at Robertson Immigration Law Firm. She has practiced immigration law for 30 years, and since 2000, has been certified as a specialist by the Board of Legal Specialization of the North Carolina State Bar.

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Leonard Jernigan

Secretary

Leonard Jernigan grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has been practicing law for over forty years. He has authored N.C. Workers’ Compensation: Law and Practice (5th edition), and in 2014, received the John B. McMillan Award, the highest award issued by the North Carolina State Bar for exemplary service to the legal profession.

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Victor Boone

Northampton County native Victor Boone began his legal career in 1975 with the Wake County Legal Aid Society. After becoming executive director, the organization morphed into the Raleigh office of Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc. (LANC), a nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people.

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Nick Fountain

John N. (Nick) Fountain has practiced law in Raleigh for 54 years and is now Of Counsel to Young Moore and Henderson, PA. He has appeared in the courts of 80 North Carolina counties, the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court and most agencies of state government.

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Stephen Gheen

Stephen Gheen earned his BA and MA from Western Carolina University before earning his law degree from North Carolina Central University. Over his career, he has clerked in the NC Court of Appeals, served as Assistant District Attorney, Assistant Attorney General with the North Carolina Department of Justice, and co-founded a private practice.

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Staff

Ryan Byrley

Executive Director

Ryan Byrley grew up in Sulphur, Louisiana––Cajun territory. He joined the Navy at age 17, where he spent four years cranking wrenches as an aviation mechanic. It wasn’t until he studied political science at Thomas Nelson Community College that he realized how much a vote could impact his life. When his daughter was diagnosed with ASD in 2009, the stakes became higher. The vote’s ability to determine access to healthcare became as clear as day.

Byrley threw his hat into political organizing afterwards, and has never looked back. He comes to the January 6 Project with over ten years of experience working alongside canvassers, activists, and political candidates, speaking with constituents everywhere from bus stations to rural schools. Most recently, he served as the North Carolina Organizing Director for NextGen America, where he successfully registered over 14,000 voters.

Sarah Pybus

Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator

Sarah Pybus was introduced to campaign and advocacy work as a sophomore political science student at Virginia Wesleyan University, where she volunteered on a local campaign. She was elected president of both her university’s Young Democrats Chapter as well as Marlin Votes, the non-partisan voter registration organization on campus. During her senior year, she was invited to Ohio to organize on college campuses for the 2016 presidential campaign. Over three months, she registered over 11,000 students to vote.

Sarah attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she specialized in human rights issues. She spent summers interning for non-profits and NGOs, and spent the 2020 election cycle working as a state coordinator for the Feminist Majority Foundation, where she ran the campus voter registration program in Michigan. After graduation, Sarah moved to Kosovo as a Fulbright Scholar to conduct legal research for a human rights nonprofit. Now back stateside, Sarah has made North Carolina her home, where she is expanding access to the ballot through her work at J6P.

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